Engineering student suffers low morale

Sunday June 17, 2012

I AM a public university student currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering. The number of students pursuing higher education purely out of interest and passion is decreasing.

Students are driven by grades and marks. Even I do the same, but it makes my life miserable and I am counting the days to my graduation. I might be studying in the best engineering university in Malaysia but trust me, I don’t know much about engineering.

I get busy with assignments and studying for tests and exams, but do I really have the knowledge of engineering?

In school, teachers were caring; they motivated us to learn and taught us valuable lessons in life about discipline, punctuality, etc. But some university lecturers are a different lot.

A lecturer’s first lecture usually begins with the mantra: “Dear students, you are all smart or you would not have made it this far …”

Now here is the highlight: “As a lecturer, I only provide you with 30% of the knowledge you need, the rest is up to you.” That means students should help themselves to the library and Internet for the remaining 70%.

The students’ first impression of their lecturer would be: “This lecturer cannot depend lah.” And some would even lose interest in the subject.

The students themselves are divided into two categories: those who sit in the front rows, and those at the back. Those in front take down notes diligently, from slides or the whiteboard, even if they do not understand what they are writing down.

The ones at the back, who are mostly sleepy, are in class for the sake of attaining the 80% attendance requirement. They plan to download the notes later, but usually only start doing so a day before the exam.

Good students are defined by their good results. But do results prove that they really understand the subject?

In my opinion, lecturers should not only be academically qualified, but have the passion to teach and inspire their students to learn well.